Vocal coach Joan Lader, show-business attorney Seth Gelblum and Parsons-Meares costume shop owner Sally Ann Parsons receive their 2016 Tony Honors for Excellence in a private ceremony June 6.
The trio come from areas of Broadway not eligible for the regular Tony Awards.
Tony Honors for Excellence, which were announced in May, will be presented at the Diamond Horseshoe nightclub in Manhattan, with members of the theatre industry in attendance. The main Tony Awards ceremony is scheduled for June 12 at the Beacon Theatre.
Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, issued this joint statement at the time of the announcement: “The Tony Awards have a long standing tradition of honoring the unsung heroes of our community. We are thrilled to present this year’s Honors to three incredible talents, from three very different areas of expetise, who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to inspire what you see on the Broadway stage.”
Here are their official bios:
For more than 30 years, Joan Lader has provided vocal training and rehabilitation for those who use their voices professionally. Joan’s extensive practice includes leading performers from the worlds of opera, film, R&B, rap, rock and pop, but more than any of these, the world of Broadway. Her clients have won countless Tonys, Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and more, and while she has trained people whose names are above the title, she has trained innumerable performers in the chorus of just about every Broadway show in the last thirty years, as well. Lader is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University, the Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, the Pacific Voice Foundation in San Francisco, NYSTA, Berklee College of Music and the Commercial Voice Conference at Vanderbilt University. She is currently a consultant for the New Studio at New York University and is proud to be involved with the National Young Arts Foundation, whose participants so often become the stars of tomorrow.
Seth Gelblum is a Partner and Chair of the Theater department at Loeb & Loeb LLP. He practices in the live stage, motion picture, television and documentary film areas. His clients include producers, directors, playwrights, composers, performers, music publishers, designers and investors for Broadway, Off-Broadway, touring and foreign live stage productions, as well as theater owners, motion picture studios for live stage matters, not-for-profit theaters and licensing agencies. In the course of his representation of producers, writers, directors and underlying rights holders involved in many of the most significant theatrical productions of the past 25 years, Gelblum has become recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the structuring of theatrical compensation and financing. He also represents writers and directors of motion pictures and television, documentary filmmakers and entertainment executives. Gelblum was listed in the top 100 of New York Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. He has served as Chairman of the Board for New Dramatists since 1999 and has been a long-term Board Member for the Canavan Foundation and Lawyers for Children.
Sally Ann Parsons and her husband, James Meares, founded Parsons-Meares in 1980 after working many years with the brilliant Ray Diffen. From squatting in an abandoned school building, the business grew to become one of the premier costume shops in New York City, producing costumes for, among others, Sophisticated Ladies, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Will Rogers Follies, Victor Victoria, Guys and Dolls, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wicked, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Aladdin, and most recently Hamilton. Since James’s death in 2008, Sally Ann has been the sole owner, often with more than 50 dressmakers, craftspeople and artists working on a single project. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of costume technology, she received the 2009 TDF Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.
(Updated June 3, 2016)